Rare Hawaiian $500 Currency of 1879 Offered in Heritage’s April Central States Auction


Dallas, TX. A piece of rare and never-circulated Hawaiian paper money – a $500 note that was to be issued in 1879 – is being offered at auction in Rosemont, Illinois on April 16-18. The $500 note, which exists only as a set of proof printings of the face and back plates, is so incredibly rare that it remains unpriced in the standard currency reference guides.

Rare 1879 Hawaiian $500 Note (Face)

The pair of proof printings is one of only two known as well. This pair of proofs is included in the catalog for the Official Auction of the Central States Numismatic Society convention, being held in Rosemont, Illinois on April 17-19. The catalog for the auction is now posted by Heritage Auction Galleries on their HA.com/Currency website


“With only two such sets known to exist,” explained Heritage currency expert Allen Mincho, “it is understandable that they are unpriced in the Krause reference guide. This set made its public debut at the 1990 auction of the archives of the American Bank Note Printing Company. Designed for the Kingdom of Hawaii, they are printed on proof paper which has been mounted on card stock, as was the custom for ABNCo file copies. The face proof has a folded registry stub as produced which extends over the edge of the card stock.”

“The face of the note,” continued Mincho, “also bears vignettes of King Kamehameha, sailing vessels, a locomotive, and sugar cane harvesting. The obligation clause reads ‘five hundred dollars in silver coin payable to the bearer on demand.’ This design only exists as these proof printings. They have been awarded classification as Pick #5 in that reference guide.” 


Rare 1879 Hawaiian $500 Note

To discuss consigning coins or currency to an upcoming auction, please call the Heritage Consignor Hotlines at 800-872-6467 ext. 1000 (Coins); or ext. 1001 (Currency).

For more information about Heritage’s auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit www.HA.com

To reserve your copy of any Heritage auction catalog, please contact Client Services at 1-800-872-6467, ext. 1150, or visit www.HA.com/Catalog to order by email.

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